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Interviews- Beyond the "Why Us? Why Now?"​ Questions

When I work with candidates, I routinely prepare them for interviews and de-brief them afterwards. During the de-briefing process, I always make a point to write down unusual questions so that I can prepare future candidates. Over the past 12 years, I’ve found that the more unusual questions come from attorneys at smaller firms. I think that this is the case because the smaller firms are more focused on interpersonal fit and asking questions which elicit that information. Frankly, I think that all firms, no matter what their size, could benefit from stepping outside the box of standard interview questions. If you are a partner or an RC at a firm, consider asking some of the sample questions below. If you are a candidate, you should think about how you might answer these questions. Need help on how to best tackle these questions and others? Feel free to reach out to me or one of my MLA colleagues in your city. bwoods@mlaglobal.com 

  1. What will you miss about your current job? What will they miss about you?
  2. If your partners/boss were here, what would they say about you?
  3. What drives you crazy about your current firm?
  4. Why do you want to be a lawyer? What is it that you want to get out of your legal career?
  5. When do you feel your best self?
  6. Where do you see yourself in five years? What are your ultimate goals and how will we help achieve them?
  7. Hypothetical: You are in a face-to-face or phone meeting with a client and he/she asks you a question that you don’t know the answer to. How did/would you handle it?
  8. Hypothetical (to a litigator): While taking a deposition, has opposing counsel ever objected and instructed his/her client not to answer? How did/would you handle it?

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